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Island HIGHLIGHTS

Trini Christmas? Coming? No… Well Start Cookin’. We Got You Covered!

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Not everybody can make it to T&T this year for that sweet Trini Christmas. Well, we’re all about spreading the good vibes so no matter where you’re spending your season, we’ve got some recipes that’ll make you feel like you’re spending it with us, right here on the island of sun, steelpan and sweet wine… (wink wink).

Ever tried making Ponche de Creme (Ponch A Creme) ? Try this… 

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 3 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup canned evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups rum
  • 1 tablespoon aromatic bitters
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs and lime zest using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually pour in the condensed milk while continuing to mix, and then pour in the evaporated milk.
  2. Stir in the rum and bitters, and sprinkle with nutmeg. Transfer to a bottle and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve over crushed ice.

 


Now, here’s the recipe for the Trini Fruit Cake. Be sure to let us know how it turns out! 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pitted prunes
  • 1 pound dark raisins
  • 1/2 pound pitted dates
  • 1 pound dried currants
  • 1 pound dried cherries
  • 8 ounces glacé cherries
  • 4 ounces mixed candied citrus peel
  • 3 cups dark rum, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry brandy (may substitute Manischewitz Concord grape wine), plus extra for grinding fruit
  • 4 ounces blanched, slivered or sliced almonds
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for the pans
  • 1 pound dark brown sugar
  • 10 large eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 2 limes
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Angostura bitters
  • 1 pound flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Combine the prunes, raisins, dates, currants, both kinds of cherries, the candied citrus peel, 2 cups of the rum and all the brandy in a large container with a tight-fitting lid. Let sit at room temperature for at least 2 days and up to 1 year. Shake or stir the mixture occasionally.
  2. When ready to bake, combine the macerated fruit mixture with its liquid and the almonds in a blender or food processor and process in batches, using extra brandy to loosen. Grind to a coarse paste, leaving centimeter-size chunks of some of the fruit intact for texture.
  3. Pour the granulated sugar into a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the sugar has melted and caramelized until almost black; it will smoke a bit and it’s much darker than you’ve caramelized sugar before. Turn off the heat, then carefully add the boiling water (furious steam here), stirring to incorporate. It may stiffen up before you add some of the caramelized sugar to the batter, just return the pot to a burner on low heat, which will loosen it up again.
  4. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Use butter to grease three 9-inch or four 8-inch pans, then line the bottom of each with a double layer of parchment paper.
  5. Combine the 4 sticks of butter and the dark brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on low, then medium speed for several minutes, until light and fluffy. Stop to scrape down the bowl. On low speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the lime zest, vanilla extract and the Angostura bitters, beating until well incorporated. Scrape the very wet batter into a very large mixing bowl.
  6. Combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper. Fold the flour mixture by hand into the butter mixture, then gradually stir in the macerated fruit paste and 1/4 cup of the black/caramelized sugar. This is a very heavy batter, and stirring will take muscle; you might want to divide among a couple of bowls for mixing in a stand mixer; you can use a dough-hook attachment. The batter should be the color of dark walnuts; if the color seems too tan or light, stir in more or all of the black/caramelized sugar as needed.
  7. Divide the batter among prepared pans, filling them almost to the top. Bake for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 225 degrees; bake for about 2 hours, or until a tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes, in their pans, to wire racks to cool.
  8. While the cakes are cooling, baste them with the some of the remaining cup of rum every few minutes until the cakes are cool and/or no longer absorb rum. They will absorb several tablespoons each; you may not use all the rum.
  9. When completely cool, invert the cakes onto plates. The cakes are ready to serve, but will taste better if they sit for at least a few days.

We’ll have more for you as the days to Christmas stroll on, so keep checking back with your favorite hub for Caribbean entertainment news. We love having you!

Caribbean Buzz

Archived: Ever Been to St. Kitts Carnival? Double up…. It’s Christmas too!

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Image by Shadan Production

While many of us were scurrying about…doing last minute painting…cleaning…cake baking and pastelle making on Christmas Eve, there was a double, albeit different celebration brewing in St Kitts!

Can you imagine it? Celebrating Christmas and carnival together?

The St Kitts and Nevis 2016-2017 Soca Monarch Competition was held on Christmas Eve and the results are in!

Rucas copped the groovy title with his rendition of Sway.

The runners up in that category are:

  • 1st runner up – Dejour ( 581 points )
  • 2nd runner up – Shanna (565 points)
  • 3rd runner up – Xman (553 points)

Lax and KTs performance of “Big Truck” earned them a total of 583 points and the power soca monarch crown.

Two time power soca winner, and defending champ Mr. Hype, had to settle for second place. His performance of “Join Her” earned him a total of 539 points. Takeover was a close third, with 537 points.

The Sugar Mas 45 Jouvert Jam, is arguably one of the most anticipated events for the Christmas-Carnival season.

On Boxing Day, the streets of Basseterre came alive! Revelers seemed to have a grand time as they moved through the streets where music and drinks were never in short supply!

E-Buzztt.com was there and captured some of the action…

The action continued on Tuesday with the National Mr. GQ Competition and the National Swimwear Competition at Sugar Mill in Warner Park.

Stay tuned to E-Buzztt.com. Our correspondent Dionne Baptiste is there and will be bringing more of what’s happening as the days progress.

 

EBUZZTT CONTRIBUTOR: Dionne Baptiste.

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Island HIGHLIGHTS

Archived: Vincy Got Sweetness. 9 Truths & Why We’re Hell Bent on Going Back for Carnival!

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The Ebuzztt team didn’t make it to Cropover or Spicemas this year. As tough as it was to come to terms with, a couple BUZZ chasers decided to hop on over to St. Vincent & the Grenadines for whatever you wanna call it- R&R, Spice Mas Tabanca treatment, whatever…  Never in a million years would these guys have imagined that SVG or Vincy as we like to call it, would be as dope as it turned out to be. Never been? Check out our BUZZ chasers’ TOP 9 highlights after that incredible stay in Skinny Fabulous’ hometown.

TOP 9 THINGS WE TOOK AWAY FROM SVG 

buccament resort1. Buccument Bay Resort is the place to stay! – There’s nowhere else we’d recommend you stay but Buccument Bay Resort. The ambience, the people, the service, the amenities were on point; the picturesque private white sand beach and clear blue water, endless food and drinks and staff that felt more like extended family and friends – made it all worth the all-inclusive experience.

2. Vincy hospitality is on point! – from the man selling passion fruit juice in the market in Kingstown, to the chef at the restaurant, there is no question that this country appreciates customer service, which stems from their humble roots. Everyone is extra nice and easy to engage.

3. Lentil peas Pelau is a thing y’all! – While their breadfruit and crawfish is SVG’s national dish, lentil peas Pelau was definitely a popular choice (and they’re not counting how many pieces of chicken they put in) starting at EC$3. Who would’t appreciate a plate that runneth over for very little, with a taste that’s to die for? Can somebody say “STEAL OF A DEAL”? 

4. Visit Fort Charlotte! – Visiting historic sites is a must on any trip and we journeyed to Fort Charlotte, which was heavily touted. The view from Fort Charlotte is simply breathtaking. It was named after Queen Charlotte, wife of King George II and housed around 600 troops and a battery of over 30 canons. Unlike most forts in the Caribbean it was not used to protect the island from naval attack. Instead, it was used to protect against attacks from inland by the Caribs and French.

Fort Charlotte

Fort Charlotte

5. Visit Bequia! – Bequia is the second largest island in the Grenadines and known for its caves, perfect beaches, buoyant yachts, expats and tourists. It is also one of the most visited islands in the Grenadines. While our stint couldn’t accommodate the trip to Bequia, it was strongly and consistenly recommended and it’s a must for our next visit.

6. Vincy people know how to fete! – Chatting with some Vincentians in the city, it was clear that Vincy people ain’t about that stush life! When it’s time to pump, they put on their sneakers and as the Power Soca Monarch Hypa 4000 says “Is No Behaviour!” for Carnival.

7. What nightlife?! …  As Trinis, we wanted to know where to party. Sadly, our driver and tour guide was quick to note that there was no “avenue” in Vincy.

8. There’s a Tobago in SVG! – Located on the southern part of the Grenadines, a popular tourist attraction is an archipelago of five small islands called the Tobago Cays (pronounced “Keys”). Known for its extensive coral reefs, beaches and cruise ships; locals and tourists alike refer to Tobago Cays quite often, which could easily be mistaken for our sister isle – Tobago.

9. Yuh think puncheon strong, try Sunset! – Sunset Very Strong Rum is to Vincentians what Puncheon Rum is to Trinis. One shot of that and you get a different kind of internal heat. Needless to say, we stuck to cocktails and Hairoun beer, which is the Carib beer of SVG.

So YEAH! St. Vincent and the Grenadines has some serious vibes and it’s beautiful anyway you look at it. Our Buzz Chasers will definitely be checking out their carnival next so stay tuned and feel free to drop us some recommendations of islands you’d like to get our reviews on, when it comes to culture and entertainment! Our comments sections is always open for your expression. 

– Candibuzz (IG)

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